Invitations in/to social media: Stop the nonsense please!
Thread poster: Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:39
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Oct 4, 2011

Dear colleagues and nevertheless friends,

This is a desperate call to all freelancers who so willingly register in more and more social networks (LinkedIn, Facebook, Skillpages, Xing, etc. etc.) these days:

Please refrain from inviting all people you know and/or all people in your email address book!

Can't you see that the social media you are subscribing to bombards your colleagues with unwanted invitations? If you let the social media company access the contents of your address book, this lack of attention (or respect, which is worse) causes disturbance and lost time to lots of people!

In some cases, like LinkedIn (God bless them!), if you invite too many unknown people you will get in trouble when you want to invite people who could perhaps be interested in your invitation. I wish all social media had this policy.

Thank you for thinking for a moment before clicking the wrong button.


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neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:39
Spanish to English
+ ...
Especially Linkedin Oct 4, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Dear colleagues and nevertheless friends... Please refrain from inviting all people you know and/or all people in your email address book!


I agree. I automatically delete the reminders that pop up in my mailbox every day. I wouldn't mind so much if you could just enter and click quickly on whatever you have to click, but anything that requires me to sign in or register just to see who has added me or is soliciting my details is a total waste of time from my point of view.


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Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:39
English to Japanese
+ ...
Agree with Tomas and neilmac Oct 5, 2011

I don't understand why people are so desperate in being connected on LinkedIn, Facebook and all the other social networking sites. Of course, there are people whom you know through Proz or other translation portals or real friends (not virtual) and if they invite me to join their network, I wouldn't decline to do so. I believe being connected with those people whom you at least know in that sense would be okay. But 98% of the invitations you get through these social networking sites are total strangers whom you don't know and never heard of. And if you just forget to press the "Accept" or the "Ignore" button, LinkedIn would kindly(?) remind you that there is a pending invitation from so-and-so. Very disturbing and obnoxious!

My impression of people with so many connections is that by having more than +500 connections, it gives other people wrong impressions that you must be a big shot with a charming personality, since more than 500 people consider you as either friends or acquaintances.


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Ambrose Li  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:39
Chinese to English
+ ...
My take on it Oct 5, 2011

Yasutomo Kanazawa wrote:

I don't understand why people are so desperate in being connected on LinkedIn, Facebook and all the other social networking sites. Of course, there are people whom you know through Proz or other translation portals or real friends (not virtual) and if they invite me to join their network, I wouldn't decline to do so. I believe being connected with those people whom you at least know in that sense would be okay. But 98% of the invitations you get through these social networking sites are total strangers whom you don't know and never heard of. And if you just forget to press the "Accept" or the "Ignore" button, LinkedIn would kindly(?) remind you that there is a pending invitation from so-and-so. Very disturbing and obnoxious!

My impression of people with so many connections is that by having more than +500 connections, it gives other people wrong impressions that you must be a big shot with a charming personality, since more than 500 people consider you as either friends or acquaintances.


My take on it is that some of the invitations are unintentional. These sites really have made it way too easy to accidentally invite everyone in your address book: To put it more bluntly, the “invite friends” function in most of these sites is poorly designed.

However, I have to strongly disagree with the position that the reason of having 500+ connections on a social network is egoistic or to give others an impression that you are “a big shot”. In certain age groups (such as if you are a student or a recent grad), having 500+ friends on Facebook is outright normal. And if you really use LinkedIn to connect with everyone that’s a “professional contact” in some way I wouldn’t be surprised you’ll very soon go over 500+ connections.

Personally I don’t know of anyone who has 500+ connections in any social network because he/she wants to be perceived as “a big shot”. Even if we counted the number of people whom you might reasonably suspect to be doing this I’d say it’s a very small number.

[Edited at 2011-10-05 04:45 GMT]


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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:39
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Not quite Oct 5, 2011

Yasutomo Kanazawa wrote:
My impression of people with so many connections is that by having more than +500 connections, it gives other people wrong impressions that you must be a big shot with a charming personality, since more than 500 people consider you as either friends or acquaintances.

Personally I think that someone who has more than 100 connections is someone who has plenty of free time and should spend more time looking for work.

With time I am growing suspicious about the people who are "very popular". They just want to exploit other people's contacts instead of progressing by the power of their own ability.


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Ambrose Li  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 16:39
Chinese to English
+ ...
Well Oct 5, 2011

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

With time I am growing suspicious about the people who are "very popular". They just want to exploit other people's contacts instead of progressing by the power of their own ability.


But that’s the whole point of LinkedIn—to leverage other people’s connections so that you can get access to more professional contacts that you otherwise would have no access to.

If you think this is in any way problematic, then I have to say you aren’t “getting” LinkedIn.


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Argyro Alykatora  Identity Verified
Greece
Local time: 23:39
Member (2009)
Greek to English
+ ...
There are settings to help you avoid that Oct 5, 2011

Hi Tomas (sorry for the lack of accent),

I was actually looking into that today in LinkedIn, I have been receiving about 15 emails per day from groups, invitations etc. You can go into Email Preferences and set Invitations->No Email as well as the frequency of other notifications that were arriving at my mailbox like crazy every day (or shall I say minute?!). Well that takes a bit of time to figure out in every social media website (is it so hard on purpose maybe?), but I guess it's (sort of) worth it if you want to benefit from them and not let them spam your mailbox! The extent to which we all benefit remains a topic of discussion, I guess it depends on how much we understand them and learn how to use them to our advantage (namely NOT by sending invitations to random people...).


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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:39
German to English
+ ...
Blame LinkedIn Oct 5, 2011

Ambrose Li wrote:


My take on it is that some of the invitations are unintentional. These sites really have made it way too easy to accidentally invite everyone in your address book: To put it more bluntly, the “invite friends” function in most of these sites is poorly designed.


LinkedIn catches most people out this way. You have the impression that the next step will allow you to choose people from your address book. Not so. LinkedIn sends the request to everybody. There is no "Undo" button either. I sent out many apologies for being a "techno-eeijit", and requested e-mail contacts to ignore and delete my desire to "be connected".


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Chris Dawe  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:39
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Domain name blocking Oct 5, 2011

I am actually a member of Facebook (with 13 friends, not 530) but if/when I get nuisance invites from competitor sites, I simply block the domain name. Job done! Heh...heh, heh

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Drew MacFadyen
SITE STAFF
Rules for segmentation, semi-regular actions Oct 5, 2011

I write rules for each of those general announcements, or so and so invites you to connect messages and auto filter them in to one subset of my inbox (Social network notifications). This way they do not clutter my main inbox or distract me, and I can semi regularly go and check them off, take action or delete.

With LinkedIn this is usually once a month, but even in that time frame, I will have 30-50 invitations, and increasingly those invitations are not appropriate (recruiters attempting to leverage my contacts for recruiting/headhunting, or individuals merely interested in my 500+ connections and in no way related to the language industry). I have had to take more and more time scrutinizing those I accept and those I ignore (I try not to deny and simply ignore or archive because, as Tomas indicated, too many denials and the requester can be blocked from inviting others and just because I am not interested in connecting with someone, does not always also mean that they should be penalized).

As others have indicated, there are filters, controls for each message, group etc you belong to. You may find it easier to subscribe to weekly digests than to every single notification.

Somewhat related, I find it odd how many translators will blindly reply to a LinkedIn post requesting contact information "so we can send you work". There is one group that has over 500 posts to one of these threads. You only see the most recent comments, but in the first days after the initial post (buried 10 pages deep in the comment thread), someone commented that this appeared to be a scam, no reply, no update, no information at all...yet daily, dozens more just read the headline "send me your contact" and post their details. Baffling.

Regards,

Drew


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Invitations in/to social media: Stop the nonsense please!

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